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NYC mayor awaits ticker-tape parade approval

Bloomberg suggested that all troops from New York City would receive free tickets to a Broadway show.
Bloomberg suggested that all troops from New York City would receive free tickets to a Broadway show.

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NEW YORK (CNN) -- Mayor Michael Bloomberg Monday awaited word from the Defense Department on whether his city can honor U.S. troops with a traditional ticker-tape parade down New York City's Canyon of Heroes.

"It's too early to say exactly where events will be held," said Department of Defense officials, "but the department is looking for appropriate venues to welcome returning troops."

During his weekly radio program April 25, Bloomberg said he spoke personally with Paul Wolfowitz, undersecretary for defense, to pitch the idea of his city hosting a parade.

"These are men and women who put their lives at risk for the rest of us. Whether you agreed with the war or not, is not the issue," said Bloomberg. "They went over and did what we asked them to do."

There is some concern in Washington about the image such a parade would present to the rest of the world.

"Rather than victory parades that appear to be gloating, we would prefer holding celebrations that recognize or emphasize our U.S. military for their contributions in Iraq," said the defense officials.

Considering the city's financial woes, Bloomberg said, the money to hold the parade, which would run north on Manhattan's lower Broadway, would have to come from outside sources.

"Traditionally you get somebody to donate money to pay for it," said Bloomberg, "The city doesn't have any moneys to do these kind of things."

Bloomberg also suggested that all troops from New York City would receive free tickets to a Broadway show.

The Canyon of Heroes has been the site of some three dozen ticker tape parades, beginning in 1886 with a parade celebrating the dedication of the Statue of Liberty.

New York City has honored several people, including aviators Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart in 1927 and 1932, respectively; statesman Winston Churchill in 1946; Gen. Douglas MacArthur in 1951; French general and president Charles de Gaulle in 1960; the Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins in 1969; Pope John Paul II in 1979; several veterans of various wars; and various kings, queens, and foreign leaders.

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